05 February 2012

The 1930 Federal Census and Sleepy Hollow

Founded in 1923, the community of Sleepy Hollow was less than seven years old when the 1930 federal census took place. On 10 May 1930, enumerator Roy Sebring came to the neighborhood and made his way through seventeen households, counting a grand total of thirty-six citizens.

The first stop was the household of David C. Tidwell and his wife Velma.  Tidwell ran a grocery store, now an apartment complex at the east end of Sleepy Hollow along the south side of Carbon Canyon Road, and owned a house self-valued at $3,000.  Tidwell was 39 years old and a of Opelika, Alabama, where he was born in June 1890, while his 36-year old wife was from Texas.  Tidwell came to California some time after 1900, presumably with his parents. 

Before coming to Sleepy Hollow, the Tidwells resided in the Rowland Township, in what is today either Rowland Heights or Hacienda Heights, along the Puente and Anaheim Road, which could either by Azusa Avenue, Colima Road or Fullerton Road.  David was then employed in the oil industry as a well packerm when his voter registration was updated in 1920.  In 1918, though, he and his wife lived in Los Angeles, near today's Staples Center, where David worked as a conductor for the Los Angeles Railway streetcar line.  Prior to that, in 1910, the Tidwells were out at the San Jose township near Pomona, where David was a hired man on farms or ranches. 

Two households down were three of David Tidwell's brothers, Henry, Harvy, and Andrew, whose ages ranged from 23 to 33.  The latter two were classified as general laborers, while Henry was employed as an rotary driller for an oil company.  The three rented living space, perhaps from their brother.

Between the Tidwells, was Daniel O. Stewart, the eldest of the Sleepy Hollow residents.  The Ohio native was 77 years of age, was still working as a farm laborer, and owned his own modest home valued at $1,500.

Mitford Mead and his wife Della were the next household.  Mead was from Crossville, Tennessee and followed his father Reuben's occupation as a carpenter.  In 1910, at age 17, Mead was an apprentice seaman at the United States Navy training station in San Francisco.  Eight years later, he was living in East Los Angeles and working as a carpenter for a firm that worked in the San Fernando Valley.  In the 1920 census, he had relocated to San Diego and was working in the carpentry trade.  His wife, Della, was from South Carolina and the couple was childless.  In later years, Mead made his way south again and died in San Diego at age 86.

The next household was that of Ernest U. Kysor, a 58-year old native of New York, who did not have a listed occupation and who was renter.  Kysor lived much of his life in Cherryvale, Kansas, in the southeastern part of the state and was still there in 1900, where he was living with his parents as a widow with two young daughters, ages nine and five, and working as a foreman, but for what was not stated.  Twenty years later, in 1920, he was in Wichita and was a railroad shop engineer and remarried.  Presumably, he came to Sleepy Hollow not long after migrating to California.  Later, he wound up in San Diego County, where he died in 1954.

Next came Italian-born Antonio Marolda, age 71, and his 52-year old Hungarian wife, Margarita.   The two owned a $1,500 residence and neither was then working.  Marolda came to the United States in 1882 and landed in New York, where he became a naturalized citizen fourteen years later and was then working as a laborer.  In 1900, still in Manhattan, Marolda was working as a barber and lived with a wife and six children, five of which were girls.  At some later point, he married Margarita, who came to America from Hungary in 1903.

The household following was that of Dixon Cecil, who was born in Centerville, Maryland in 1877 and lived in Baltimore for many years.  In 1900, at 23, he was still with his parents and his father was a grocery store owner, while Dixon was employed as a bartender.  Married in 1905 to an English native named Fannie, who had migrated to the United States in 1894, Cecil worked as a wheelwright, an occupation he had until just after World War I.  By 1920, he had combined past experience had taken on the new occupation of a liquor store owner.  While in Sleepy Hollow, however, Cecil was employed as a carpenter.  He remained a resident of the area until his death at age 89 in 1966.

The most unusual occupation of the Sleeply Hollowites (?) was undoubtedly that of James M. Beatty, a 48-year old native of Pennsylvania, whose job was listed as a "author."  Born in 1881 in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, just east of Pittsburgh, Beatty was a laborer in the 1900 census and lived with his widowed British-born mother.  A decade later, mother and son had relocated to Los Angeles, residing on Figueroa and Fifth streets, and James was working as a department store card writer.  In 1920, when he and his mother lived on Hope Street on Bunker Hill, Beatty was a card writer for a manufacturer of slides, presumably glass slides.  In 1930, at Sleepy Hollow, Beatty still lived with his mother and the two owned a $2,500 house.

Following was 68-year old widow Rosalie Plunkitt and a 20-year old servant name Elva Corbin. Plunkitt was from Ohio, but in 1900 was a widow with two daughters and a son, living in Escondido in San Diego County, where she operated a rooming house. A decade later, she was still managing the facility there, though her children had moved out. Her house was the highest valued in Sleepy Hollow, although at $4,000, this was still pretty modest. And, she had the female servant.



The next household was that of Fred Hiltscher, whose name might be recognized as that tied to the family who owned ranch land near Sleepy Hollow (as documented on the 1924 oil map extensively covered in this blog) and was also connected prominently in Fullerton for many years.  Born in Austria in 1871 and a migrant at age 15 to America, Hiltscher was also the only denizen of the community who had resided there in 1920, and his was a farmer the entire time.

Then, there was Elizabeth Purington and her children David and Rosemary, whose story has been told in earlier posts on this blog.  Elizabeth was recently widowed, in 1928, from Cleve Purington, who was the main figure in the founding of Sleepy Hollow in late 1923 (more on this soon.)  Notably, Elizabeth continued to work as a "real estate saleslady," continuing the work of her late husband to develop the community.  She and her children lived on the lot directly across from what is now the Sleepy Hollow Community Center, on the north side of Carbon Canyon Road.  Her daughter is the namesake for Rosemary Lane and the builder and first owner of the house I live in told me the story of how, about 1990, Rosemary, then about age 70, drove up to him as he was outside the house and talked to him about Sleepy Hollow and the fact that the little lane was named for her.

After the Puringtons, it was quite a bit further east until the next residence was reached by Sebring.  This was the home of William and Beulah Lorimer.  William, a 41-year old native of Colorado, was listed as carektaker for the "Workmen's Circle Club."  This was Camp Kinder Ring, the children's camp operated by the Los Angeles branch of the Workmen's Circle, a liberal Jewish worker's rights organization.  The history of Camp Kinder Ring has also been discussed previously in this blog.  Lorimer had been a hired man in Colorado and Idaho before coming to California and married his Arkansas-born wife in the early 1920s.  Lorimer also remained the area for many years, dying in Brea in 1969 at age 80.

Next to the Camp Kinder Ring facility was Benjamin (Bernardo) T. Belardes, age 44, who was listed as a "stock farm manager," or cattle ranch foreman.  Belardes had a notable background.  He was born at San Juan Capistrano in 1882 to Teodosio Belardes and Ramona Yorba.  Ramona, born in 1852, was from the famed Orange County family and her father was Domingo, son of Jose Antonio Yorba II, whose parents were the patriarchs of the family, Jose Antonio Yorba and Josefa Grijalva, and Catalina Verdugo (her family was, in 1784, given one of the first land grants in California, covering what is now Glendale and surrounding areas).  Jose Antonio Yorba II was the owner of the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana in what is now central Orange County, which he sold to Joaquin Sepulveda of Los Angeles, and then bought the Rancho Niguel, further south.  Benjamin's mother was born in what was known as the Domingo Adobe, still standing on Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano.  Domingo Yorba had married Maria Rios, whose family was prominent in the mission town and still resides in San Juan.  Teodosio Belardes and Ramona Yorba had twelve children, of whom nine were still living at San Juan Capistrano in 1900, including the eldest, Bernardo, working then as a laborer on his father's farm.  A decade later, Benjamin, newly married to a California-born woman of Irish heritage named Emma, was living in Anaheim, working as a laborer, and the couple had the first child, a boy named after his father.  In 1918, Belardes was in Hynes, a dairy community in southeast Los Angeles County that was later renamed Paramount.  At the 1920 census, the family, with three children, was still in the area, living at Artesia, before migrating to Carbon Canyon during the following decade.  It seems likely that Belardes supervised the cattle ranch on what is now the Oak Tree Estates/Downs area and Western Hills Golf Course.

Also shown as in Sleepy Hollow was 67-year old Lucius Rosenberg and his 64-year old spouse, Matilda and the two were renting a house.  Rosenberg was the son of a doctor and spent much of his childhood in western Illinois near Peoria and close to Iowa, where his wife was from.  In 1920, prior to coming to Sleepy Hollow, the Rosenbergs, who married about 1890 and lived in Colorado for a time, resided in Redondo Beach with a seventeen year old son, and Lucius and his son, George, both worked as steamfitters in an iron foundry.

Next to the Rosenbergs were Roy and Grace Rand, both 46 and from Minnesota, with Roy listed as a farmer, an occupation he had worked in from childhood.  Roy was from Warsaw, a town south of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and his parents were 1840s migrants to the state from Canada.  After his father's death, Roy, the youngest of ten children, moved with his widowed mother and two siblings to the larger town of Faribault, just east of Warsaw.  Married in 1918, the Rands moved to Burlington, a sparsely populated area of Minnesota, just east of Fargo, North Dakota, before relocating to Sleepy Hollow by 1930.

Adjacent to the Rands was the only Sleepy Hollow founder, aside from Cleve Purington's widow and children, to live in the communty in 1930.  This was English native George Wanley, age 51, who lived with his Iowa-born wife Grace, and he will be covered in a subsequent post on the creators of the neighborhood.

Finally, there was farmer Chester H. Roberts, 47, and his 41-year old wife May, both from Massachusetts.  Chester was from Gloucester, the noted coastal community, where he was plumber's apprentice in 1900 at age 18 and then a ship's painter a decade later.  As late as World War I, he was still in his hometown, but it is not known when he came to California and then to Sleepy Hollow, where they owned their spread.

It is noteworthy that, of the three dozen residents of Sleepy Hollow in May 1930, only six were children under 18.  Only three more were in their 20s, while half a dozen were 64 or older.  Six were from outside of the United States, including three from England, one Austrian, one Hungarian and one Italian.  Of the seventeen households, eleven were homeowners, but the highest declared home value was $4,000, meaning that the residences were all likely small and modest. 

Of course, the community was known to have been a place for small cabins built for weekend getaways, so it is very likely that there were many more than 17 structures and, if 9 May 1930 was a weekday, there would have been plenty of people not counted in the census who were part-time residents or vacationers who would have been in Sleepy Hollow in weekends or when summer came along several weeks later.

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